My Blog

A Review of the Realistic (Radio Shack®) Pro-59 Programmable Scanner Radio

For the record, I do not own the featured image on this page.

I must give credit where credit is due and I cropped it out of the 1992 Radio Shack Catalog.

Since the age of fifteen going on sixteen (September 2002) I had been listening to scanners.

I didn’t know such a device existed until the Summer of 2001 when I first read about them on

https://howstuffworks.com

Specifically:

https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/radio-scanner.htm

I had wanted one ever since, but at the time I was a no income fourteen-year-old with fiscally conservative and technology ignorant parents.

There was no way I could own one, not even an entry-level model.

Without getting too political, I believe that the prices of firearms and scanners are deliberately jacked up in order to discourage ownership of them.

Governments likely demand this but it also represents pure profit for the manufacturers of these ever so controversial instruments.

I will stand by this belief until I am unequivocally proven otherwise.

And by the way, if I can be proven totally incorrect; I will be more than happy to recant this statement.

…Anyway, enough of that…

Scanners are expensive there is no doubt about that.

And since I am living on a disability pension, I cannot afford the latest and greatest scanner really not even an entry-level scanner.

Then why do I own so many of them?

Well, it’s simple, I either buy older models at a very significant discount or people who no longer use them due to their obsolescence or perceived obsolescence give them to me and I always find a use for them.

In the late Summer of 2019, a friend of mine, gave me a Realistic (Radio Shack®) Pro-59 and is what this piece will be a review of.

It is not the oldest scanner that I own.

However, it is indeed the oldest scanner that I use.

This particular unit came off the assembly line in July of 1991 and while it may not pick up what most scanner owners want to hear (police traffic) it still picks up almost everything I want to hear. I believe it is an aftermarket rebadged Uniden made for Radio Shack, but I’m not totally sure.

It may be totally obsolete for the overwhelming majority of scanner users.

While I don’t have a very detailed list of the technical specs, I know most of them right off the bat and will give them:

Frequency Range:
137-174 MHz FM
406-512 MHz FM

So, it does not Aircraft or 700/800/900 MHz and that’s understandable. But it doesn’t get VHF Low Band either and that seems like a mistake on the designers’ parts, especially since there were a lot more VHF Low Band users in the early 1990s then there are now. But I get it, this was a budget-friendly entry-level model that had a price tag of $99.95 in the 1992 Radio Shack Catalog. By the way that is $184.45 in 2019 Dollars! The only users on VHF Low Band in my immediate area anyway are some cheaper baby monitors and my local electric utility cooperative. I have other scanners to listen to those transmissions, anyway.

There are only eight memory channels and it does not have a full frequency display. However, it can recall the frequency assigned to any channel but will do it one digit at a time. But since there are only eight available channel memories, it shouldn’t be too hard to remember what frequency was programmed on each channel.

However, it has a dedicated Weather Band Search at the push of a button and it does indeed get all seven Weather frequencies. That is a pretty big deal since not all stand-alone weather radios made in 1991-1992 actually received all seven weather frequencies!

You, the reader, may think that this scanner is a piece of junk by today’s standards, but I am about to tell you why that is not the case.

It may indeed seem very limited both in 2020 as well as 1992 but the receiver sensitivity is where this model beats all of my other scanners. I have a ~12 Inch aftermarket telescoping antenna connected to the BNC terminal on the back, but it pulls in signals loud and clear that all of my newer scanners don’t even stop on. And some of my newer scanners have better antennas as well!

I cannot seem to get a listing of this receiver’s sensitivity as rated in microvolts, but it must be very sensitive.

And that makes this perfect for what I listen to most namely, railroad and marine traffic.

I keep this scanner on my kitchen counter and run it most of my waking hours.

It is running as I speak, but I am in my bedroom at the moment.

There are several navigable waterways within a few miles of my residence and this wonderful scanner pulls in all nearby transmissions on VHF Marine Inland Waterway Channel (156.650 MHz.) It also pulls in the Coast Guard transmissions on the International VHF Marine Distress Channel (156.800 MHz), some fifty miles away in New Orleans. There is a railroad line about ten miles away and it pulls in the dispatcher clear as day and sometimes the engineer’s side as well. I have a local amateur radio repeater that I listen to programmed in there and it works fine as usual. Finally, I have the Fire Dispatch Channel for all of Terrebonne Parish, the Fire Dispatch Channel for Lafourche Parish Fire District 1 (where a good bit of my family resides) and I have two Fire Tactical channels, one for my local fire department and the other for a neighboring fire department. Almost everything this radio picks up, comes in clear as day. And the other times, the signal is still intelligible. One advantage I have is that I live on the second floor. I specifically asked for a second-floor unit so I could get better television and scanner reception!

So, yes, to most this scanner would be a dust collector, given to a thrift store or perish the thought recycled for parts.

However, I have given it a new purpose and I use it daily.

Despite its age of almost twenty-nine years at the time of writing this, it still keeps me informed and entertained on a daily basis.

It even has helped me maintain my sanity during this quarantine!

Most people my age that have to stay home are likely watching various streaming services.

I, on the other hand, listen to scanners, which may have a considerable startup cost, but are free to use. Well aside from the electric bill and the cost of batteries.

My biggest question is:
Will any of the scanners made in 2020 still be operating without issue twenty-nine years in the future?

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of The Realistic (Radio Shack®) Pro-59.

And yes, I give this product a rating of 5 out of 5 stars because it performs so well and does everything it is supposed to do!

Hopefully, you, the reader, have been informed and entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Datexx DRC-604 Atomic Clock Receiver

 

For the record, I do not own the featured image.  I give credit to whoever credit is due…

In some (but not all) aspects of my life, I carry myself with fervent precision.

Case in point, I always wear a watch and I strive to keep that watch synchronized with The American Atomic Time.

To do this, I synchronize it with an Atomic Clock receiver at the beginning of every month.

I have been doing this since 2008 when I would synchronize my watch with the time on my GPS device.

I do this usually on the first over every month, but sometimes I am late with it.

I was late this month with all that is going on.

I synchronized my watches and clocks in the wee hours of the morning on May 7, 2020.

When I was thinking about that, I was prompted to write this piece.

My now ex-wife always had an alarm clock of some sort and always heeded that alarm, mostly to wake everyone else up in her family.

She still pretty much got up at a set time every morning when she and I lived together.

She probably still does to this day, though I am not sure.

Because of this, in August of 2010, I wanted to get her an Atomic Clock receiver for her twenty-third birthday.

There was one being sold at my local grocer, Rouse’s, and for only ~$10.

It was a Datexx DRC-604.

Money was so tight in those days though that I couldn’t afford it for her.

Well all of my disability pension and then some went towards rent and I was working part-time, maybe 15 hours a week at $8 an hour which almost all went towards groceries and utilities.

Our financial situation improved in December of 2010 when my disability pension got bumped up and in January of 2011 for our first anniversary, I bought her a different Atomic Clock receiver, from Wal*Mart, a Westclox, though I’m not sure of the exact model number.

I know I frequently talk ill of that marriage but there were some good times, believe it or not.

And I think what was the ultimate ruination of it was brain damage from my then wife’s chronic hydrocephalus that altered her personality and made her so gosh durn mean, so it’s not entirely her fault either, just a very messed up circumstance.

I tried, for years in fact, but there’s only so much a human being can take.

She did indeed enjoy it, though whenever she got angry at me she would give it back to me, but then take it back when she was no longer angry at me.

I used it as well to synchronize my watch and any other clocks that didn’t automatically synchronize itself.

I left her in January of 2018. And I made sure that she kept that clock.

I also gave back to her almost everything she ever gave me, yes even a Weather Radio, which hopefully she still uses.

I moved into my current residence in May of 2018 but for about one hundred days, I stayed with a friend.

On a stormy day in the Summer of 2018, I was shopping with my Dad at Rouse’s and discovered that the Atomic Clock receiver that I initially wanted to give my then-wife as a birthday present almost eight years prior was now on clearance.

I know Rouse’s is primarily a grocer, but they used to sell some pretty neat housewares, electronics, and even flashlights.

Anyway, instead of ~$10, it was now ~$5.

I had a little bit of cash on me, so I happily purchased it.

As previously stated the Atomic Clock receiver is a Datexx DRC-604 and is what this piece will be a review of.

Between January 2018 and the following Summer, I was unable to synchronize my watches or my other clocks with the Atomic time and that did irritate me tremendously. But somehow I managed.

So, I was super happy to have an accurate clock once again.

It’s not the best of Atomic Clock receivers, but I’d like to think it gets the job done.

There are three major strikes against it:

This clock only works in the Continental United States.

It is difficult to properly set.

AND

It has a difficult time acquiring the signal, even when placed by a window.

Still, it manages to accurately keep time and it synchronizes every morning with the Atomic Clock in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I especially like how it is efficient on batteries, which it runs on two AAA Alkalines and will run for at least a year before needing them to be changed.

Other features are:
Time Zone Setting.
Month, Date, and Day of the Week.
Two Separate Alarms that can be independently turned on or off.
Moon Phase.
Indoor Thermometer.
Bold Faced Clock indicating Hour, Minute, Second, and AM or PM.
Green LED Backlight activated by pressing the Snooze Button.

My biggest complaint is that I wish it could update more often and that it didn’t have such a hard time acquiring the signal but maybe it has a hard time because of all the electrical noise associated with modern technology and apartment dwelling.

Other than that, it has a plethora of nice features and it eventually does get the right time.

My main reason for owning this is so I can properly synchronize my watch and other non-automatic clocks to the most accurate time possible.

By the way, I give this product a 4.45 out of 5 stars, because of the issues with settings, frequency of synchronization, and reception issues.

I suppose this, therefore, concludes my review of the Datexx DRC-604.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Radio Shack 12-248 Sports Weather Radio

Just for the record, I don’t own the featured image.  It is the property of Radio Shack.

I have been fascinated and intimidated by the weather since I was a toddler.

Likewise, I have been interested in electronics and gadgets since I was a toddler as well.

The overwhelming majority of my childhood took place in the 1990s, so I do have a fondness for certain electronic devices that were made during that time.

Now, the first time I ever set foot inside a Radio Shack was on December 26, 1994, and all I did was look at a few computers.

I wouldn’t shop at Radio Shack again until November of 2001 and I wouldn’t shop at Radio Shack on the regular until some point in 2002.

After that, I was in Radio Shack all the time, until most of them closed down in the mid to late 2010s.

When I was in my 20s, I discovered that there was a website that archived almost every Radio Shack Catalog ever printed.

That website is http://radioshackcatalogs.com/

I have since frequently used it as reference material in my research.

When I was in either my late 20s or early 30s, I was looking at the 1998 Radio Shack catalog on that aforementioned website and noticed a neat portable Weather Radio, The Radio Shack 12-248, of which this piece will be a review.

For the next few years, I had wanted one and frequently checked eBay for it.

However, either the price was too high or it was too beat up to be used.

Then in late April of 2020, there was one that appeared to be in very decent condition and selling only for $15 even.

I couldn’t pass this up.

So, on the evening of April 30, 2020, I made my purchase and it came in the mail on May 7, 2020.

The transit times with the Postal Service are agonizingly slow right now, but I think we can all chalk it up to this wretched Coronavirus.

…Anyway…

While I have only had this radio for a few hours, I am still thoroughly impressed.

Some of the features are:
Rugged, Water Resistant Design-This makes it ideal for outdoor use, especially boating in stormy weather.
Bright Yellow Cabinet-This allows it to be easily located.
Standby Alert Feature-Allows the radio to stay quiet until a Weather Alert is broadcast.
Alert Lock-Allows the end-user to know there was an Alert issued even if he/she wasn’t near the radio when it occurred.
Receives All 7 Channels-Will provide Weather Radio coverage almost anywhere in The United States but also parts of Canada and Mexico.

I read the instructions and learned that while it is water-resistant, it is not waterproof. This means that it would probably be ruined if it went overboard. However, it could probably stand up to light rainfall, which I mean it was designed for keeping track of severe weather while outside.

Speaking of that, the rod antenna is considerably long, so maybe that would be a lightning strike hazard if used outside during an electrical storm.

The price was a bit high, especially for 1998 ($49.99) but a lot of Radio Shack products in the 1990s were overpriced. However, they were built very well!

I’m not sure if the channel selector is a PLL tuner or if it’s crystal-controlled, but it pulls in station KIH23 loud and clear from about forty miles away. Even with the antenna retracted, the signal is still intelligible. Granted I am on the second floor, but most of my other weather radios don’t perform this well. The station even bleeds over into adjacent channels, even from about forty miles away.

I tested the alert feature and it is very oud and will get the end user’s attention.

All in all, it seems to be a good weather radio.

I cannot understand why Radio Shack only sold it for a year.

Maybe it was the high price?

One could go make a week or two worth of groceries in 1998 for that price.

As I stated on social media while talking about this weather radio:
“While I don’t think the Gorton’s Fisherman is a real person, however, if he was, I wouldn’t be surprised if he EDCed one of these [a Radio Shack 12-248] in his raincoat pocket while sailing in US or Canadian waters.”

Gorton’s Fish, especially the Beer Battered variety, has been on my mind a lot lately, and now I can eat it as I please. Both my ex-wife and my ex-girlfriend didn’t like to eat it. Now that I am single I can eat it all I want and not hear anything.

I could picture any fisherman carrying this radio though, and what would be cool is if another company would reboot this design but make it truly waterproof and maybe have a more compact rubber duck antenna tuned to the Weather Band. Another idea that I could change it to have a scan feature that automatically pulls in the strongest weather station, instead of a channel selector knob. Other than that it is a great radio and for its time it was excellent.

Nowadays one can get a portable and waterproof VHF Marine Radio with Weather Band and Standby Alert built it for around what this costed in 1998, maybe even cheaper if inflation is considered.

For those that can get one second hand and want to go fishing either inland or in the coastal waters, this seems to be great, if one can get it in decent condition. There have been quite a few Special Marine Warning issued in my area within days around the time of writing this piece.

I imagine that this radio would be great for those with a budget in mind, especially for other outdoor activities as well such as golfing, farming, or hunting.

I’m glad that God finally blessed me with one.

I give this product a 4.7 out of 5 stars because it isn’t truly waterproof and the antenna looks quite flimsy. Other than that, it’s awesome.

This, therefore, concludes my review of The Radio Shack 12-248 Sport Weather Radio.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained.

Thank you for reading and may God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

 

I’ve been Carrying a Flashlight Permanently for Fifteen Years

I have been fascinated by flashlights since infancy. Almost everyone in my immediate circle and probably most of my readers is well aware of this. Because I am fascinated by flashlights, I want to always have one with me. I had been carrying flashlights on me on and off throughout my childhood and teen years.

…But…

On May 5, 2005, I decided to carry a flashlight on me everywhere I could.

That was fifteen years ago today.

I have pretty much held to that decision and there have been very few times that I have not carried a flashlight on me since.

I can probably count those times on one hand.

I would have carried a flashlight permanently on me much sooner in life but while I was in the upper levels of grade school, I was mocked and harassed for liking flashlights by other kids.

By my late teen years, I didn’t give a durn.

So, what made me decide to start carrying a flashlight on me?

We can go back to the Autumn of 2003 to answer that.

I was a sophomore in high school and some thunderstorms had gone through the area, knocking off the power.

We had to sit in class in the pitch-black classroom.

My Mom teaches at the same high school I attend and my EDC bag was definitely in her vehicle. I had an Energizer SuperCharge rechargeable LED flashlight in there.

I had offered to go to my Mom’s vehicle and get my flashlight but due to security reasons, the teacher refused.

It drove me crazy that I was in total darkness and couldn’t do anything about it.

This would be the catalyst for me to get interested in flashlights again.

A few months prior, I had a 4 D Cell Maglite that was ruined by leaking batteries so I was hesitant to sink too much money into an expensive flashlight.

This is why I didn’t own tactical flashlights right away.

I even helped with parking for football games and the cops that were working security details laughed at me for not having a tactical flashlight.

I either had a very cheap Rayovac Value Lite or my Energizer Supercharge.

I had known about SureFire since February of 2003 while reading a Gall’s catalog, but I knew I could never afford one.

In January of 2004, I had my first of many ear infections and while waiting to get some medicine filled, I was looking at the flashlights in Wal Mart.

I wanted a small pocket-sized model to carry discreetly but wouldn’t get a Mini Maglite because of what happened to my first Maglite flashlight.

I bought a 2 AA Lumilite Industrial flashlight which I would have until 2007 when the switch gave out. I did indeed carry it, but not religiously.

Fast forward to June of 2004, I bought one of my favorite flashlights of which I would own several, a Garrity Mini Rugged Lite, on clearance at K-Mart. Unfortunately, while I was hospitalized in the late Spring and early Summer of 2004, it was ruined by leaking batteries.

I was more interested in buying radio equipment than flashlights at this point in my life anyway, so that is why I only bought cheaper flashlights.

On October 24, 2004, I shopped at Academy Sports and Outdoors for the first time and was amazed by the wide selection of tactical flashlights sold there.

However, I could never afford them as an unemployed seventeen-year-old.

…Fast forward to May 1, 2005…

My Mom wanted to go shopping at the Wal*Mart in Galliano, Louisiana, and she wanted me to come with her.

I wanted to come anyway, so I could listen to boat traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway with my scanners while on our way down there.

I think my Mom wanted to buy some craft supplies, so I went looking in the sporting goods and eventually at the flashlights.

It was there that I first saw a tactical style Garrity LED flashlight with red and blue lens filters and a Nylon pouch.

And it was under $15!

I didn’t have any cash on me that day, but I knew I would be buying one soon.

For the next few days, I hustled, doing whatever chores I could to come up with the $15 or so.

Finally, on May 5, 2005, I had enough cash and I went to the West Houma Wal*Mart and purchased one.

A friend also gave me cash to purchase one for him.

Ever since then, I have been carrying a flashlight on my person.

It came in handy after Hurricane Katrina and I subsequently upgraded to other flashlights since.

During other power failures at school and on jobs I previously held, I was always one to pull out my flashlight.

More recently, it has helped me in church whilst trying to locate switches for the light and sound systems.

Almost no one harasses me about carrying a flashlight anymore, and those that did aren’t in my life anyway.

I don’t know why people would want to harass me for liking flashlights. Have they not heard of ‘to each his own’?

No one is harmed because of my flashlight fascination, but quite a few are helped.

Currently, I alternate between carrying a Streamlight Jr. and a Wowtac A1, but I have tried a plethora of other models.

I don’t care anymore if someone harasses me for liking flashlights and as long as The Good Lord wills it, I will carry a flashlight on me for the rest of my life.

I look forward to seeing advances in LED and battery technology and I’m sure will be amazed at what the next fifteen years will bring.

This, therefore, concludes my piece on how I’ve been carrying a flashlight on me for the past fifteen years.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

 

How God Stopped Me from Converting to Wicca

This piece is a testimony of a saving work that God my Savior did in my life.

He didn’t have to do it, but He did and today I am exceedingly thankful that He did.

In this piece, I will share the story of how God prevented me from forsaking Christianity and converting to Wicca.

At the time I was a severely backslidden Christian. I got saved not even two years before this so, therefore, I was an immature believer, and several people caused me to stumble in the months between getting saved and this event.

It was in late January of 2006.

I was nineteen years old and a senior in high school.

I slept on the sofa in my parents’ living room every night and this night was no different.

A few months before this I had decided to keep a flashlight on me at all times, to the point of even sleeping with one in my pants pocket.

During my late teen years, before and after getting saved, I had an increasing interest in Wicca.

It seemed like a fun, peaceful, romantic and tolerant way of life, whereas Christianity still appeared abusive and controlling to me.

The enemy of my soul put those delusions in my head with great craftiness and malice.

If that wasn’t enough, I also had the assumption that there were lots of ample-sized women and girls who were practitioners of Wicca and this was a chance for me to meet some. Everyone who knows anything about me knows how I strongly gravitate towards bigger females and back then was no different.

Earlier, that very day, I had announced to my immediate family about how I was considering becoming a Wiccan.

My Dad was the most upset, but the others didn’t have much reaction.

I went to sleep excited about my decision.

As I slept on that sofa, a severe thunderstorm developed during the night.

Lightning or wind had damaged some grid infrastructure and knocked off the current.

I was woken up by wind, lightning, and thunder.

The house was pitch black, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

So, I reached in my pants pocket for my flashlight, but it wasn’t there.

I knew it had fallen into the sofa, so I began to feel for it in the total darkness.

At that exact moment, a freight train was passing on the outskirts of my community.

My location was 3-4 miles south of the railroad line and normally the only way to hear a train was to be outside.

However, a North wind was blowing which carried and amplified the rumbling sound of the freight train.

As much as I am obsessed with trains, I didn’t think it was a train.

I sincerely thought it was a tornado and headed straight for me.

Think about it, there was a severe thunderstorm going on which was powerful enough to knock out the electricity. I always knew that severe thunderstorms can spawn tornadoes and late January is a frequent time for tornadoes in Louisiana. And not only that, I was always told that a tornado sounds like a freight train.

I was utterly terrified, probably more than I had ever been in my life.

The thoughts of how just hours ago I was planning on abandoning my Christian faith for Wicca haunted my heart and mind.

In the pitch darkness, I tried in vain to get to my parents’ bedroom and warn them of what I thought was a tornado but bumped and tripped all over the furniture.

In complete desperation, I called on God.

A split second later, the engineer of that train sounded the whistle.

I still panicked at first, because I thought it was warning sirens, not realizing that the Parish I was living in doesn’t have warning sirens.

God then sternly told me it was just a train and afterward, He asked me if I still wanted to become a Wiccan.

About that time my Mom and Dad woke up and saw that I was up as well.

I don’t remember the words we all exchanged but we soon went back to sleep.

At daybreak, the electricity was back on.

I also located my flashlight that was deep in the sofa and even thanked God for helping me find it.

I then got ready for school.

I still would take me a few years to completely return to God, but I pretty much gave up on converting to Wicca after what had happened that night.

If you are running from God, stop this instant and do a total 180 Degree turn. He will lovingly take you back into His arms, no questions asked.

Please, don’t run from God as long as I did, because if you do, the enemy of your soul will rob you of everything good and pure…

Back to “Matters of Faith”

A Review of the Midland Weather Center App

For the record I do not own the featured image on this page, I give all credit to whom credit is due.

As I’ve stated many times before, I am fascinated by the weather. I have been since early childhood.

By the way, my area is under a Tornado Watch as I am writing this.

I didn’t own an Android device until I was twenty-eight years old and I’m thirty-three at the time of writing this. This means I have been using Android for almost five years. I was late in the game, but that’s because I was more interested in rugged flip phones and later quick messaging phones because I didn’t like touch screens. However, once I bought my first touch screen phone, I haven’t gone back.

In May of 2015, I bought my first Android device, an entry-level smartphone which was an LG Optimus Fuel. Ever since all phones and tablets which I use have been Android.

In June of 2015, I bought a pocket-sized weather radio, a Midland HH50B. It came bundled with some literature about the Midland Weather Center app, of which this piece will be a review. Other Midland Weather Radios I have purchased also came bundled with this literature. This is my first review of a software product, so I hope you, the reader, will bear with me.

After I installed the batteries in my new weather radio, I promptly downloaded the app from Google Play.

And I had been using it on almost every subsequent Android device I own ever since.

I never was a premium subscriber to get automatic weather alerts for my geographic location, but I don’t need to be as I almost always have a Weather Radio nearby.

However, when a weather alert comes in on my Weather Radio, the first thing I do is check the app and then share the information on social media. If there is a Warning issued, I text that information to all whom I know located in the warned area.

The app gives a seven-day forecast for any given area in the United States and automatically does so for the device’s current geographic location.

It also gives near real-time images of all locations covered by NOAA’s Weather Surveillance RADAR network. These images are continuously updated every five minutes.

There are also detailed outlooks and discussions given from scientists at The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

When an alert is listed, a textual transcript of all of that alert broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio, along with visual graphics and maps of the affected area, is included.

Just about all of this can be easily shared via MMS and/or social media as well as other apps with a few taps of the finger.

Other features include literary as well as audio/visual information about how to program a Midland Weather Radio and a list of Weather Radios made by Midland.

As mentioned before a premium feature is push notifications alerting the user to severe weather in his or her geographic location.

This is a very neat app and in my humble opinion, the best weather-related app out there.

Here’s the kick in the teeth: It is no longer available for download on Google Play. This is a terrible mistake on the part of all parties involved in that decision.

However, this wonderful app can still be manually downloaded and installed on an Android device, if the user knows what he or she is doing.

It was in May of 2018 that I realized this app was no longer available on Google Play. I was pretty ticked off about it and vented on social media. I was confronted about my venting at a Bible study even, because of my choice of words. I didn’t use any filthy language but I can see where it could be misconstrued if I said how it “irks my butt” that I can no longer download Midland Weather Center.

So for a little over a year, I went without Midland Weather Center, but one evening in 2019, I was doing some related research and found out that I could download and install it to my Android device without it being on The Play Store. I was thrilled!

Not only does it still fully work, but it also seems to be fully supported.

Now I keep a copy of it on several of my flash drives.

Still, it would be much more easy and convenient to have this app on Google Play. And not only that, more people would be able to use this wonderful app.

If any Midland or Google executives happen to be reading this piece, please heed my advice.

Midland Weather Center is a great app and I will not be a happy man when or if it is no longer supported.

I have been forwarding weather information to social media since about 2012.

When I started, I simply would transcribe what my Weather Radio picked up and I was using a flip phone.

It was quite difficult, but I somehow managed.

I now heavily rely on this app to forward severe weather information to social media.

This is one thing I do for my friends, family, and neighbors and I do it calmly and precisely.

This app helps me disseminate weather information so well to those who need it whereas, it was a pain in the rear end to do it before I had this app.

I know there are other apps out there, but I like Midland Weather Center the most and I think others also would.

I give this product a 5 out of 5 stars.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Midland Weather Center app, but keep reading, there’s a little more I want to say:

Now, I’ve been saying how much I like Midland Weather Center and I did give it a rating of 5 stars, but let me be totally clear, that an app should not be the primary source of critical weather information. It should merely be a supplement. The primary source of critical weather information must needs be a Public Alert certified Weather Radio because it is fairly simple and very fail-safe. It must needs also be one that is well maintained. And the end-user should have adequate backup batteries installed and change them every Spring Forward and Fall Back, along with smoke detector batteries.

I apologize if I seem to be on my high horse, but this subject has always been of importance to me.

All in all, I am done now. I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe, just maybe, a little entertained.

Thank you for reading! My back is starting to hurt, but I’m glad I was able to say all I wanted to say.

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Post Modernism’s Influence on my Thinking and Writing

Post Modernism has heavily influenced my later writings, I think that is obvious. It was since my late teen years that I was first exposed to it and at least on the subconscious level, it began to inspire me and take root. It wouldn’t be until my early twenties that it had begun to shape my writing.

In this piece, I will try and describe, how Post Modernism has influenced and inspired my writing. I will try to explore in greater detail than before how I was inspired to write these two stories. I think you, the reader, will be shocked when you find out how far back the inspirations go. I will also touch on the fact that Post Modernism is indeed very much in conflict with my Christian faith.

However, when I allow them to coexist within my heart and mind, I can write some beautiful things. However, Post Modernism is dangerous in all matters concerning the soul and I will admit that until the cows come home. The reason why I find Post Modernism so dangerous to the soul is because it strongly teaches that there is no absolute truth. In fact, I often joke how the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate was the world’s first adherent of Post Modernism, when he asked Christ, “What is truth?” As referenced in the Bible, John 18:38. Pilate eventually went crazy and likely never got saved.

The stories I have written under the influence of postmodern thought were inspired by many external factors that occurred on both my conscious and subconscious levels. Some of these inspirations can be traced back to the Spring of 2005. While there were others, I think the one that stands out the most is my infamous “Grocer and Writer” stories, though I didn’t begin the actual writing of them until the evening of June 30, 2014, and I began writing its replacement, “A Disabled Electrician Turned Writer” in February of 2017.

In a high school Psychology class, back in the Spring of 2005, we were working on an assignment to describe a house and to exchange it with a classmate, but if I remember correctly not to identify yourself. I immediately thought of an older house in the suburbs of New Orleans and in that house is a young man cuddling in bed with his girlfriend. I don’t exactly remember how I wrote it, but I know it was in better detail than the simple mentioning of it in this piece. I know exactly what inspired me to write that, but I am not going to reveal it, because a lot of people in my immediate circle will be angered if I do. When I witnessed what I wrote, almost a year prior, you, the reader, could say I had been exposed to Post Modernism for the first time since an unmarried couple that was cuddling in bed was and likely having relations as well was considered a sin, but here I was exposed to it. The person whom I exchanged it with seemed irritated in her answer to what I wrote and while I remember her name well, I will not mention it. Even though I was on a terrible medication and not very creative at that point in my life, I could still think of stuff like this from time to time. However, the little I was writing at this point in my life was totally different and even old fashioned, compared to the very urbane nature of my stories that reflect postmodern American society, especially those in this piece.

Fast forward to December of 2005, I began writing an anti-Christian Cult story, known as “The Textfile.” I’m not knocking Christians except for a few sects that teach how one must speak in tongues to be saved. That very teaching caused great distress in me. However, I now know that it isn’t Biblical and is borderline blaspheming in my book. I was initially inspired to write it whilst walking around the Houma suburb of Bayou Cane, Louisiana, but also, I had recently watched, “The Notebook” on DVD. I completed it in May of 2006, but then erased it sometime in 2013. In 2017, I began rewriting it strictly from memory, though it too is much more urbane than the original. I completed the newer version in 2019. Throughout the Summer of 2006, I would exchange this story with plenty of people whom I either met in chat rooms or through Myspace. I got some differing reactions, some enjoyed it, some loathed it.

In August or September of 2006, someone read the original version of “The Textfile” then sent me a copy of his or her story known as “Perplexed Existence.” It was a Christian story, written in first person about an emo high schooler who works at a convenience store and has an alcoholic and pill addicted mother. He meets a young lady who leads him to Christ. I read it in one sitting with my undivided attention with no idea how it would inspire my own writing in the future both consciously and subconsciously. I don’t know if it was a true story or a work of pure fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Whomever the author was and I wish I could remember, but he or she was successfully able to combine Post Modernism with Christianity and did so better than I ever could.

In September of 2006, I was inspired to write a story about a young grocer and his relationship goals but didn’t write the first pieces of it until March of 2018. Throughout the rest of 2006 I was working quite a bit and didn’t have much time for writing, but still managed to do it now and then.

On January 7, 2007, I had met a girl and on that same day entered what seemed like a wonderful and very stable relationship with her, but years later it became quite toxic and finally terminated in 2018. I believe this relationship is also what made my writing more urbane and I quit writing with the old fashioned values my work initially possessed. Some of the people in her family could be seen as poster children of Post Modernism, but I won’t go into detail why because I am trying to make peace with the situation. Her family is influenced by Post Modernism and spreads that influence, in the way they carry themselves.

My writing was probably at its most filthy in the Summer of 2008 when I wrote something that was borderline pornographic about a couple that had met online. Let me say that I was a severely backslidden Christian who was not only writing such filthy literature but I was also fornicating and cohabitating. It was a young studly warehouse worker in Phoenix, Arizona who met a rich, lonely, slightly older but still young woman that lived in Salt Lake City Utah. They had cybersex, but then she invited him over to which he drove all night in his vintage Chevy Blazer and upon arrival, they did many kinky things both in her master bed/bathroom but also near the Great Salt Lake. At some point, after this, I promised The Lord and myself that I would never write anything pornographic again if I were to ever reference sexual intimacy in my writing, I would do so with taste and leave almost everything to the imagination from then on. I’d like to believe that I pretty much kept this promise, although I messed up a time or two. It was the Financial Collapse of 2008, that brought me out of my backslidden state. I started listening to shortwave to hear the rest of the world’s opinion on America and began to hear some Christian preaching as well. Ironically even a false Christian prophet played a role in getting me out of my severely backslidden state, as bizarre as that may sound. There was even a villain in one of my stories based on him.

I started attending church regularly in January of 2009 and attended that church until January of 2018. It was at this church where the ills of Post Modernism were first pointed out to me. I didn’t even know what Post Modernism was until I had attended there but then began to see it everywhere. This was both good and bad because it allowed me to get lots of inspiration for my writing, but also, I realized how bad a shape society is in and how far it fell from grace.

I finished trade school in November 2008 and went to work full time. In some of my free time, I would write. I purchased a small netbook in February of 2009, so I could write whenever I was on the go. I lost my job in September of 2009, due to a still crumbling economy. In October of 2009, I had taken a trip to the Esplanade Mall with my soon to be wife now ex-wife and was inspired to write a story about a teenaged couple at a strict and corrupt catholic high school. I stopped at a now-closed restaurant in Paradis, LA, where her family members were working and began writing some of it. They are suspended for public displays of affection. I called the story, iAffection. The boy comes from a well off family, but the girl and her mother are poor and she attends school on a voucher. I completed it some time in late 2009 or early 2010 and had revised it, but then did a little more work on it around 2009. However, this was my first story with the postmodern qualities and drew some inspiration from that story “Perplexed Existence”, but also the soap opera, “As the World Turns.”

On January 11, 2010, I started working for a God awful grocer and remained working there until September 23, 2011. This place inspired a good bit of my “Grocer and Writer” stories, that is for sure. Several characters were based on managers and coworkers from there, though I would write any of it until well after quitting. Also, around this time I had visited a young couple who was struggling financially and living in Paradis, LA. This moment would inspire a scene in “A Disabled Electrician Turned Writer.”

In the Summer of 2011, I began work on a dystopian story. It was about a teen couple in a forbidden romance because of the Nazi styled government in power. I had a dream back in February of 2003 which was the inspiration behind it. It was completed in the Summer of 2012. There are some postmodern elements to it. This story came to me in a dream I had quite possibly in the early morning hours of February 9, 2003, though it would take me another eight years to get it into text.

In February of 2012, I began writing “Radiant Affection”, which was initially supposed to be a form of repentance for writing “The Textfile.” I worked on it on and off until 2014, but I still contribute to it from time to time at the time of writing this piece. I know where to go with it, I just need to fill the gaps in between. This story doesn’t have the Post Modern element that the others do.

On June 30, 2014, after taking a trip with my parents and then-wife now ex-wife to the New Orleans area, I came home and was inspired to write what would be the beginning of my “Grocer and Writer” stories. As I’ve mentioned before, the New Orleans area has always been inspirational for my writing and it is inspirational to others in their respective forms of art. There is just something about it. Well, it takes place in New Orleans though not specifically mentioned in the stories themselves but little hints are left. The sins of fornication and cohabitation are committed in these stories, but my characters do repent and begin to plan marriage until one is murdered and the other dies of a broken heart. I wrote it initially from that day in 2014 until early 2016, when I felt as if I should write something that would make the racial tension worse than it currently already was. While it reeks of Post Modernism, it also teaches that we all deserve to love and be loved, even despite appearance or disability.

So, in March of 2016, I began to write something that taught those similar values, but without all the racial and ethnic tension that was going on during the Obama years. It was about a train conductor and an aspiring writer who meet online in a writing forum. I didn’t get too far off the ground with it and eventually moved on to other things. Something else I wrote in 2015 and continued in 2016 was a teen drama known as “Those Years.” Both of these try to teach how everyone deserves to love and be loved. I didn’t get far enough with either story to have my characters commit any serious sins.

I had also taken quite a few trips to the New Orleans area throughout 2016, and just about every time, I drew at least some inspirations.

In February of 2017, I began writing another story, A Disabled Electrician turned Writer. It too takes place in the New Orleans area, though not exactly mentioned. I was inspired to write it by witnessing the lifestyles of those connected to my then in-laws now ex-in-laws. However, I wasn’t able to get that far with it. There are some sins of cohabitation and fornication that occur, but my characters do plan to repent. Like the others, it teaches that everyone deserves to love and be loved. I wrote it from 2017 to 2019, then went on hiatus.

In the Summer of 2017, I wrote, “Two Foamers in Love” but didn’t get very far with it. It is one of the least sinful stories influenced by Post Modernism; all sex occurs within wedlock and it is done discreetly. But you know what they say, right? Sex sells. Well, controversy in general sells. It is easier for me to write a sinful story than a wholesome one, a lot easier. God is dealing with me about this and has been for some time. Also, for whatever reason life seems more romantic before marriage than after. I don’t know if that is Post Modernism or just the human condition in general. Actually, there are some scriptures I could reference that deal with this subject and explain why married life isn’t as romantic as pre-married life and it is due to a curse put on humanity by God, to remind us that we are sinners in a fallen world.

In the early Spring of 2018, I began writing my “Relationship Goals of a Young Grocer” stories but didn’t get all that far with it. There is indeed some sin occurring, but still, I guess I was too distracted to focus on it. Well, I was going through a divorce and also trying to secure my own place of residence. Later in the Spring of 2018, April 16, to be exact, I wrote “An Autumn Squall Line” about an impoverished couple riding out a severe thunderstorm in a shotgun house in Uptown New Orleans. In the original version, they were cohabitating, but on August 11, 2018, I changed it to a married couple, though still quite impoverished. Around this time was when God began to deal with me about writing such sinful literature.

In the Fall of 2018, I wrote “Love Among Terrorism” which was dedicated to me and my then-girlfriend, now ex-girlfriend. There was no cohabitation nor fornication, just a terrorist attack and a couple worried about each other.

Throughout 2019, I had added pieces to many of the aforementioned series of stories. I also completed the new version of “The Textfile.”

In the last days of 2019, I went through a breakup, but then began writing a new Post Modern influenced story, with equal Christian influence known as “Second Chances.” I am going to try my durn well best not to let my characters sin, though they do spend an innocent Christmas Eve together and cuddle all night long. Like the others, it takes place in the New Orleans area. By this point, even my Post Modern influenced writing had evolved.

In early 2020, before this Coronavirus was an issue in The States, I began writing a new series known as “Bohemian America.” It takes place in New York City and the surrounding area, but there are references to Louisiana. Yes, there are some sexual sins, but only by a couple who is in love and does desire marriage, one of the members of that couple are triracial, and I wrote that to atone for previous works I had done that likely contributed to the racial tension in America. Again I was just inspired by all that I was observing, so can you, the reader, blame me? I sure hope not! I’ve only publically displayed a piece of it that doesn’t show the sinning.

While I have written plenty of factual works during this Coronavirus pandemic, I haven’t written any fiction to say fiction. It’s like a partial writer’s block has set in. Of course, I hadn’t been drinking my Wild Cherry Pepsi like I usually do, something which usually fuels my creativity. When life gets back to normal, hopefully, I’ll start writing fiction again and resume my “Second Chances” stories as well as “Bohemian America.”

Yes, intimacy is referenced in much of my Post Modern influenced writing but it is overwhelmingly done with taste and not in a pornographic fashion as was the case in 2008.

So, yes, Post Modernism has influenced my thinking since about 2004/2005 but didn’t start showing up in my writing until 2009 and not realized until 2014.

Yes, it makes good writing, but is in conflict with Christianity and certainly does not honor God, so likewise if I am going to continue writing with Post Modern influence, I’ll need God’s help to not allow it to be sinful.

Of course, if you, the reader, are a Christian, then I covet your prayers.

I guess this, therefore, concludes the piece on how Post Modernism has influenced my writing over the years and I hope you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened and maybe even entertained…

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